Death toll in Northern California wildfire climbs to 48, as grim search continues

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The remains of six more victims in a deadly Northern California wildfire were found by searchers on Tuesday, bringing the death toll in the Camp Fire to 48, the sheriff said.

All six sets of remains were found in homes in the area of Paradise, a town devastated by the Camp Fire which broke out Thursday morning and is considered to be the most destructive and deadliest fire in recorded California history.

Butte County Sheriff-Coroner Kory L. Honea said that he’s requested 100 National Guard troops to work in conjunction with those searching for human remains in the fire, which as of Tuesday night has burned around 130,000 acres and was 35 percent contained.

“We want to be able to cover as much ground as quickly as we possibly can,” Honea said, adding that even after a search is done and people are allowed to return to the community, it’s possible more remains may be found.

“I know that that’s a very difficult thing to think about, but that’s the difficult situation that we find ourselves in today,” he said.

The Camp Fire is one of two deadly wildfires burning at opposite ends of California.

In Southern California near Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire that broke out Thursday afternoon has killed two people near Malibu, burned more than 97,100 acres — an area around the size of the city of Denver — and destroyed an estimated at least 435 homes and other structures. A fire official said the number of destroyed structures is expected to rise significantly as assessments are done. The fire was 40 percent contained Tuesday night.

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